My cat has had her eye removed 16 days ago. The stitches were taken out four days ago but then a small hole opened toward the center of the eye socket. this hole is now the size of a large pinhead. It seems to get larger as the tissues are sinking in. I am concerned about this but my vet says that this will close off on its own and not to worry. But he is not specialized in ophthalmology. This is in a more provincial area of Croatia and the veterinary care is rather rudimentary. Should I wait of try to get my cat to a specialist (which is difficult as it will entail travel with overnight stay)? If there is a possibility the hole can close off on its own, I would rather wait a little longer, but if not then I would rather go to the specialist right away. Because of this concern I am continuing to keep her under antibiotics (against my vet's opinion) and also putting ophthalmologic antibiotic salve on the incision twice daily. My basic question is, is there a possibility this will heal/close off on its own?
Type of Animal: cat
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: 3
Antibiotics, keeping the cat indoors and keeping the protective collar on.
Hi there!My name is XXXXX XXXXX X would be happy to help you with your question.- Is there any blood, fluid, or oozing coming out of the hole?- Does the area look red or inflamed?- Does the hole go straight through all the tissue, or are you just able to see a bit of flesh underneath?
No there is no infection or inflammation. The hole goes all the way through. It has the aspect of a small black hole. Best way to describe it is to say that as the skin is healing and sinking into the cavity it has pulled apart at the location of one of the central stitches - perhaps the vet cut off too much of the eyelid skin and it cannot stretch into the concave shape of the eye socket... The hole is at the central point of the eye socket. To repeat, they told me at the vet - the vet and his assistants that this will grow together - but since Friday when she was seen the hole has become bigger not smaller. So I am wondering whether as the healing continues and the skin continues to sink in more it will continue to pull apart or is there indeed a possibility that the tissue can somehow grow together to close off the hole. There is no problem with it now, but if the hole remains then it is possible that it can get infected. What I want to know is is there any case where there was such a situation with an eye removal, where after the stitches were taken out a small hole appeared but then healed over?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.To answer your last question first: yes, it is possible after surgeries sometimes there are still very small holes left in the skin after the sutures are taken out that heal up on their own just fine.However, if the internal sutures are also pulling apart, and the skin itself is opening, that might not be the case in this scenario. Over the course of time, a hole should be getting smaller, not bigger. Since you would have to drive a long distance to see someone, and your cat is currently on antibiotics, you could give it a couple of days to see if it grows any larger, or if it starts to show signs of healing properly. The antibiotics will help prevent any infection from setting in. If you are really concerned that it is not showing any signs of healing, and is continuing to get larger, it would be safest to get your boy in to have it looked at. In a case where the skin is taut enough that it is pulling the incision apart, they may have to sedate him to re-suture the hole. This will help relieve the tension on the hole itself to give it time to heal. It is worrisome that you describe the hole as going all the way through, as that could possibly mean that the internal sutures in the deeper layers of skin are pulling apart as well.If you have any follow-up questions or concerns, please hit "reply", and I would be glad to address them for you. Otherwise, I hope your kitty is quickly on the road to recovery!VetTechErin41035.3680956829
Thank you for your answer. I do have a bit of a follow up question, although perhaps it is more of a comment. I do not believe that the vet put in any internal sutures. The initial sutures he put in pulled apart - it was a terrible job where he just stitched everything with one piece of nylon. When it came loose two days later I had to take her back and then I saw the socket and there was no other stitching that I could see. He restitched with individual nylon stitches. I trusted him but obviously if I had known how he was going to perform the operation I would not have gone to him. Now it is too late, other than to try to get the eye to heal so that there are no complications. After this whole ordeal and two anesthesias I am not keen about putting her through a new operation as long as there is a possibility that the tissues can heal in a way to protect against an infection. It is obviously a very difficult call to make without an exam. Perhaps it is best, XXXXX XXXXX suggested, to wait for a few days (as there is no infection) to see if the hole stops enlarging and begins retracting.
I completely understand not wanting to put her through any more stress.It's also hard to decide to make the long journey if there is a chance that the hole could heal.Depending on the size of the hole, it may be that they can merely sedate her to close it up, however if only one layer of suture was used, this may be problematic as well. Part of the reason that internal sutures are used for the deeper layers of skin tissue is to help alleviate the tension on all of the sutures collectively and prevent them all from popping open. Also, if one suture happens to open, there are other layers there to keep the open suture from causing an opening directly into the body cavity.And you are correct, without having an exam done, it's a very tough decision to make. If there are other vets in the area, you might want to look into getting a second opinion on the opening to ensure that it doesn't need to reclosed to seal off an entry into the eye socket itself. If it's a matter of sutures, most vets should be able to suture a wound closed without requiring a specialist to do that, but obviously you would want to find a vet you were able to trust to do it right. If you think there is someone else in the area who might be able to give a trustworthy second opinion, that might be a better option than either waiting or driving for an overnight stay to see a specialist.
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Hello again!I wanted to check back up with you and see how your girl was doing! Did you end up taking her to see a specialist, or did the hole start to heal on its own?